Apart from creating the gigantic world of superheroes, Joe Russo is also working on bringing alive India-set stories for Amazon Studios as well as Netflix. The filmmaker says there are still many “compelling stories” rooted deep in the country’s “amazing” culture waiting to be told.
Telling stories has always been an integral part of Indian culture, and Joe, one half of the Russo Brothers, feels the tradition has played an important role in cementing the position of Indian film industry around the globe.
“I think the Indian film industry, outside of Hollywood, is the most vibrant filmmaking market in the world, and a culture which values storytelling,” Joe told IANS in an interview here.
“As we are becoming a part of the global community, there are lots of stories to tell here and there haven’t been a lot of stories told (from) here in Hollywood,” he added.
“We see an amazing culture with rich tradition, storytelling and compelling stories to tell here… Especially because the audience is very savvy. They understand stories on a very profound level,” the filmmaker said in the group interview.
For Amazon Studios, Joe, along with his brother Anthony is working on creating an international event series. There will be a main global spy series, which will then lead to the creation of multiple original local language series with one based in India, which will live alongside the series.
And when it comes to Netflix, Russo Brothers have backed India-set kidnap drama “Dhaka”, which will mark the directorial debut of Sam Hargrave. Based on a script by Joe, “Dhaka” is an action film in which Chris Hemsworth has to save a kidnapped Indian boy.
From facing financial struggle to make their first film “Pieces” in late 1990s to helming a film “Avengers: Endgame” which is breaking ticket pre-sales records, the brothers have come a long way. Joe describes themselves as “disruptors”.
“We like to deconstruct things… That’s our general disposition and it was interesting (to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe) because we came in at a point where we could start deconstructing the Marvel universe.
“We deconstructed the ‘Captain America’ movie. We went a complete different direction from the first film with ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’. Then we deconstructed ‘Captain America: Civil War’ by tearing them apart and then we deconstructed the whole universe by killing half of the superheroes in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.
“Our disposition lined up with a journey which was happening at that time and we are able to take our thematics which are important to us and infuse them in four movies. And you will see that with ‘Avengers: Endgame’ that they are all connected.”
“Avengers: Endgame” is culmination of over 20 Marvel movies, and wraps up 10 years of storytelling. It is slated to release in India on April 26 in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
The brothers like to infuse their political ideas in their projects. But Joe says they have to be smart to play with such topics.
“You have to layer movies. You have to have a narrative so that a nine-year-old can enjoy it from a very superficial point of view. A fan can enjoy it from their point of view. And somebody who doesn’t like superhero movies can gain something… And that is what makes movies so accessible.
“It has been a theory of ours since we started working. And each one has been successful from the last.”
(Sugandha Rawal was in Mumbai on an invitation by Disney India.